First of all, I hope you are doing well on this Good Friday!
I love Good Friday almost more than Easter. In the church I grew up in, they traditionally hold a Tenebrae service on Good Friday. There is a retelling of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, through His death, and up until the tomb is sealed. There is a large candelabra in the sanctuary that is dimmed gradually throughout the service, until the whole room is completely dark.
They leave it that way a few moments. Everybody sits in the silence and the dark contemplating the horror of the cross. Then someone lights a single candle to represent the hope to come on Easter Sunday. The resurrection.
It’s a beautiful service, and one that I miss dearly being away from home. It always prepared my heart better for Sunday.
I love traditions like that. Sure I like the candy and the colorful eggs and all the crafts this time of year. But I love traditions that help me pause to remember something important.
Today I baked my first ever batch of hot cross buns. I had heard of them before, but I had never made them. And I had no idea that they were often baked for Good Friday.
These huge buns are made of sweet, lightly spiced bread dough and studded with dried fruit. And they make the house smell heavenly… whiffs of cinnamon and nutmeg and yeasty goodness…
But my favorite part was drizzling the crosses. It was a precious few minutes to pause and remember Him who endured the cross, for the hope of us who can never measure up.
This is a tradition I plan to continue.